When Australian composer and sound artist Yantra de Vilder first heard Buddhist nun Robina Courtin sing prayers at a retreat, she said she “recognised a trained voice.”
Brought up in Melbourne, Robina did indeed study singing, with her mother, a classical singer and pianist. “She sent me to London in 1968 to pursue my studies, but, being ripe and ready for revolution, I became a political activist instead. I’m sure she’d be delighted that here I am, fifty hears later, singing again!”
The day after hearing Robina sing, Yantra awoke at dawn with the clear realization that they would work together. “I wanted to help get these ancient prayers out to the world.”
The culmination of this collaboration – sung a capella, “in the manner of the chapel,” which is in keeping with the Tibetan monastic tradition – is, according to English singer and conductor, Kerry Prest, “a rare chance to hear an authentic musical lineage, tenderly interpreted by devoted modern-day artists.”
Australian performing artist and voice coach, Pearly Black, says that “this record captures the strength and beauty of Ven. Robina’s voice. And Yantra’s arrangements and sound design create a space-like celestial cathedral.”
“The result is a lush meeting of East and West to move the heart and soothe the mind.”
released September 5, 2017
MAIN MELODIES Lama Zopa Rinpoche, based on the traditional melodies of Sera Je Tibetan Buddhist Monastic University
VOCALS Robina Courtin
ADDITIONAL VOCALS, ARRANGEMENTS, RECORDING ENGINEER, PRODUCER: Yantra de Vilder
RECORDED AT Cape Three Points Studios, Avoca Beach, NSW, Australia
The tradition among Buddhists is that when we put a price on something sacred, such as this music, we don’t think that we’re “selling” it. Rather, we think that we’re freely offering the prayers to others, and that any money received is used for covering costs for production, etc., not for the actual prayers.
All money offered for these prayers will go to Ven. Robina’s Bodhichitta Trust, which supports various spiritual projects. The trust will offer fifty percent to Yantra, who will use her share for her spiritual projects.